Jamie Evans hangs a Christmas ornament outside of the Root Cellar in what she hopes will become an annual traditon of providing tree decorations to community members in need. NEWS PHOTO, KENDALL KING, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

By KENDALL KING, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in front of Medicine Hat’s Root Cellar, as ornaments and decorations along with a sign which reads ‘If you need some Holiday cheer, I hope you can find some of it here. Please take a decoration,’ hang from one of the trees outside the building.

The tree was decorated by Hatter Jamie Evans, who hopes to spread Holiday cheer to community members in need.

“I was (at the Root Cellar) a couple weeks ago to (donate) and I was walking out and noticed this tree that had three Christmas decorations on it. It was looking kind of sad … So, I called them and I asked if I could decorate it and they said absolutely,” Evans told the News.

“I wanted someone to have that … something that is tangible to look at and remind them people care and that they’re worthy. There’s lots of stigma and shame lots of times, too, for people that are accessing supports like the food bank, so (this) lets them know they’re worthy of kindness and cheer and hope,” she said.

Melissa Mullins, Root Cellar marketing and events manager, feels the tree is a symbol of all that Christmas represents, such as inclusion, acceptance and goodwill.

“When we were approached with this idea we thought it was great,” said Mullins. “We think it’s important to spread happiness and Christmas cheer to all of our community.”

Currently, the decorations are those provided by Evans, however she encourages Hatters to add their own decorations to the tree or to take whichever decorations they need.

Evans plans to collect any unclaimed decorations at the end of this year’s Holiday Season, with the hopes of hanging them again next year.

This item is reprinted with permission from Medicine Hat News, Medicine Hat, Alberta. See article HERE.

If you wish to comment on this story, click HERE for the Discussion Board at TheRegional.com/AlbertaChat.com